When it comes to dating, people often say it's a jungle out there. Of course, as civilized humans, we like to think that we're more sophisticated than our animal friends when it comes to matters of the heart, but Love in the Jungle, a new reality dating show from Discovery+, proves that primal urges can go a long way when it It's all about impressing a potential partner.
However, if you're willing to go beyond the surface, there's hope for both the alphas and the meek, as M&F found out when they received the inside track from one of the 14 singletons taking part in this one-of-a-kind show. Austin giec is a Detroit registered nurse specializing in trauma. When COVID struck, this hero became part of a traveling contingent of medics fighting invisible fire on the front lines. But now that life is hopefully getting closer to normal, giec was thrilled to join Love in the Jungle and hopefully swap being single for a stable and secure relationship.
Be the best version of yourself
Striving to be the best version of yourself is important because first impressions count. Right at the start of the show, the 14 contestants were thrown into the deepest depths of the Colombian jungle, where they quickly learned that since speaking was taboo, they had to court their potential partners without the luxury of words. An avid fitness enthusiast, giec was fortunate enough to display one of the best physiques on the show. w 6'4'' and around 230 pounds, his manly figure is the result of many hours spent getting in shape. An ectomorph, giec's athletic physique is the result of serious dedication and hard work, and gave him his first boost of confidence when he first set foot in the jungle.
"Growing up in high school, I was always this tall, skinny guy," says giec. "I weighed about 180 pounds when I graduated, and I was working out and drinking meal replacement shakes that had over 1,000 calories in addition to the two pounds of ground food every day." giec fell in love with the process of building muscle and getting stronger will, and here is the scientific part; It seems that women prefer really muscular men. A 2017 study found that exhibiting upper body strength turns women on.
Expand your dating pool
One development that is changing the way we find mates compared to our animal friends is the way technology is becoming the preferred choice for finding a new mate. If you're tired of endless swiping and those digitally manipulated profile pictures, you really should expand your dating pool and go swimming in new waters. "I ended up in the same vicious circle as all my friends," says giec. "Swipe right on Bumble and swipe right on Tinder."
"When I first heard about the show, I was on a Bumble date," says giec, who explains that he was struggling to find a deep and meaningful connection until he was unexpectedly approached by Love in the Jungle's producers (the show currently airs Sundays on Discovery+). He was initially hesitant to join the show, but as he reflected on his experiences with apps, he began to think it could be a good way to get off the screen and meet new and exciting people. "I thought nothing was going for me right now, so I have to find a way!" he recalls. For many of us, an all-encompassing trip into the jungles of Colombia might seem like a stretch, but if you're having trouble finding a game in an app, why not join a club or go?
Be prepared for anything
"Everyone who came to this show, we all agreed that we were here for a reason, and that was because we're all bad at dating," laughs giec. As homo sapiens, we love our comfort. From the music we like to our tastes in food and fashion, we often turn to the familiar when looking for a connection, but if you keep doing the same thing, then there's a good chance you'll always get the same results . So if you think you suck at dating, maybe you're just repeating the same mistakes and playing it safe instead of stepping out of your comfort zone.
Don't be afraid to meet someone who may have different interests than you. Why not put yourself in an environment that wouldn't necessarily be your first choice? It's great fun trying new things and being prepared for anything. "When you took on this challenge, you really didn't know anything," says giec. "And I felt like that was on top of that. Everyone was on the same page... That first day, when you go out on the street, you see these signs and they say, 'Animals can't talk, so neither can you.' And that's when I realized how oh crap! What the heck was I getting myself into… but that's not to say it wasn't a really great experience.”
Language is more than simple verbalization.
While giec was in a position to be one of the biggest boys in the jungle pack, he knew it would be wrong to assume an athletic physique would do all the talking. Looks are great, but language and communication are essential to finding a lasting relationship. Sure, on the face of it, giec could be considered an athlete thanks to his love of baseball, a sport he ran all the way to Division 2 at Saginaw Valley State University, and he even played in a few potential MLB leagues, but as a caring nurse with a soft side, this candidate was able to show a well-rounded personality by using more than just their aesthetic.
"I realized I read body language so much when I first meet a person," says giec, who had to find ways to transfer his inner qualities to his potential dates. In one scene, giec presents fruit to a potential mate to show he would be a selfless companion. "Some people on the show said that at first glance they didn't think I would be the (caring) type of person I was." There's a lot that can be said without words.
Pay more attention to your partner
Told in a David Attenborough-esque manner and asking people to choose their own power animal as a nickname, Love in the Jungle is a fun watch, but it also has a deeper side. For giec, one of the biggest dating tips he'll take home from the jungle and the various ways he's been forced to communicate is making sure he gives his future hookups the appropriate amount of time and attention.
"I always knew I was a very fun, outgoing guy," says giec. "I enjoy making people laugh, but I quickly realized that I wasn't giving people the real me. I didn't open up or allow myself to listen to them. So I think exploring those deeper connections is something I'll take with me.” Maybe we're not all apes after all!